Sunday, December 7, 2008
Tinkerbell, Shawntel and I had a little fun playing Santa Claus this past weekend at the 6th annual Christmas Caravan for Kids run. This event is organized by the off-roading community and is a toy drive for Toys for Tots. The event this year was awesome. I had only been to one other one in the past and I am going to make it a priority to go to all I can in the years to come.
The event took place at Jefferson County Fairgrounds near Golden, CO. Everyone who attended brought a toy wth them along with their off-road rig of choice. It's like a huge truck and jeep show as well. The Marines were there to collect the toys, there were vendors, live bands, a raffle jeep, free lunch donated by Little Ceasars...and my favorite, the RTI (Ramp Travel Index) ramp!
The RTI ramp is just that...it's a ramp. It tests the "flex" or suspension travel of a vehicle. There is a scoring system that can be calculated by using wheel base length, ramp angle and distance travelled up the ramp without lifting one of the three remaining tires off the ground (see the pictures). Well, Tinkerbell didn't let me down when I put her on the ramp. She climbed herself all the way to the top. The crowd watching cheered as we had gone as far as the ramp would allow us to go. We could have gone a little farther, I think, if the ramp was longer/taller. Shawntel took some really kick ass pictures of us. At the end of the day Tink and I had earned the highest score of the event - a 913! We won! I am so proud of her and I can't thank my friend Tom enough for putting such a great suspension under her.
The weather this year was perfect, the turnout of off-roaders was amazing, Tink had fun showing off and best of all I got to share this experience with my fiancee Shawntel :) I am already looking forward to next year's 7th annual Christmas Caravan for Kids. I can't wait!
Monday, December 1, 2008
I finally had my crawler up and running and her current paint scheme was looking tired and mismatched. She had primer colored doors and a baby blue and black hood, really quite an eyesore to say the least. Well I had decided on a new paint combo that I knew would be somewhat obnoxious, yet very fitting of her personality. You may ask yourself if vehicles have personalities and I can assure you that mine does :) So the new digs were to be Battleship Grey for the cab and hood and Cheverolet Orange for the rollcage.
The painting itself went very smooth (I was lucky to get a string of nice afternoon weather), and since she is a full trail use vehicle, perfection was not on the menu. Afterall, she will get beat up on the trail rides to come, but that is the beauty of a rattle can paint job. Easy touch ups! I took my time scuffing and cleaning the surfaces to be painted, in hopes that the paint would hold/last longer. It took about four or five afternoons to get it all done and I am pretty satisfied with the results. So is the crawler I think. I'm pretty sure I saw her smile at me when I was done ;)
So now she has a new wardrobe and along the way recieved a new name, as she had been previously unnamed, sort of. Oh yeah, her new name is...
Sunday, November 30, 2008
My rock crawler (my most expensive and favorite toy) has been out of commission for a couple years. She has a broken transmission and over the past two years her fuel system and carburation had become plugged up with bad fuel. Her battery was also dead...poor neglected girl. I really miss taking her to the mountains and tackling the tough trails and obstacles. Well, I had felt sorry for her long enough and on one warm October weekend I asked my dad if he'd help me get her running again so I could take her home with me. Did I fail to mention she has been parked, motionless in my parents driveway for the past two + years.
Day 1: My dad and I tore into her carburetor and cleaned it, but it was all for naught, engine no worky. I bought some fresh fuel and put it in her fuel cell...oops...I just mixed fresh fuel with old seperated and watered down fuel. We decided to stop our working and planned to pick it back up on Sunday.
Day 2: We tore into her carburetor yet again...this time we did a more thorough cleaning and hoped it would be enough. My fiance accompanied me this time to help my dad and I. We went and bought an inline fuel filter to put in front of the carb to help keep any contaminates that might be in the fuel cell and fuel line itself. We drained the fuel cell and pumped gas out into a bottle until it was fairly clear of water. We got her all put back together and it was time for the moment of truth. And after a few tries she came to life...momentarily, belching out flames from her carburetor. After a few adjustments we got her started and able to idle. Yay! Our hard work paid off!